The Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) was filled with more than 215 potential employers and 1,200 eager students clutching resumes and company pens at Day 1 of this year’s Career Expo.
The annual event, held Feb. 7-8, was separated into two days in order to accommodate the different majors, beginning with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. The second day was geared more toward other majors, such as liberal arts and social sciences.
Being LSU’s largest recruiting event, students were able to network with professionals, learn more about potential graduate programs, enquire about job or internship openings, and gain invaluable advice from experts in their intended career fields.
“Get an internship with a company you want to work for, not just to get experience,” Justin White, LSU alumnus and Halliburton senior production supervisor shared. “Because then you automatically have your foot in the door. You’re already making connections versus just putting something on a resume.”
Brad Stevens is a recruiter for Marathon Petroleum, and he described what employers are expecting from college students in this setting.
“Depending on the student’s level of interest, they should reach out to us a few business days after the Career Expo,” Stevens said. “My recommendation is that you reach out to them via LinkedIn.”
He suggested that students meet with companies even if they are not currently interested in an internship or job opportunity. It is extremely beneficial when you do begin looking because the company will already know your face, he explained.
Various companies’ recruiters said the best piece of advice before events such as the Career Expo are to have an elevator speech about yourself prepared and to go with questions ready. They emphasized how important it is to do research before approaching a company.
Prior to the Career Expo, students were offered several opportunities in order to prepare for the event.
Students had the chance to attend a “Rapid Resume Review” session, put on by LSU College of Engineering’s career coach, Courtney Frost. This allowed students to stop by and get tips on their resumes the week before the Career Expo to be as prepared as possible.
The student organizations, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted a networking tips session on Feb. 1 with representatives from Marathon Petroleum. They shared ways to be professional and stand out in a crowd of people.
Several features of the Career Expo remained the same this year, such as a place for students to leave personal belongings, student prep stations to review their resumes, and a LinkedIn photo booth for students to have a professional headshot taken.
The Careers by Simplicity app was also available during the event, which provided students an overview of companies in attendance and a map of where they were located. Once they visited each table, they could check them off their virtual list and add comments for personal use.
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